Sunday, October 21, 2012

Japanese Mafia Headquarters...I take a look!

So here’s the deal. I am coming near the end of my training for Osaka Marathon 2012 on November 25th.  With just a few weeks left I need to make some rather lengthy long runs. Most runners, when preparing for a full marathon run a very long run every weekend. That long run builds stamina and gets your body used to being pushed for several hours. The great thing about long runs is that you can explore large parts of the city you live in. I have been from one end of Kobe to the other, but decided something a little new for this morning’s 31km (20 mile) run. I wanted to make it a “destination” run so to speak.

I decided that I would check out the compound that is the headquarters of the Yamaguchi-gumi. The Yamaguchi-gumi is the largest organized crime syndicate in Japan and is what is known as the yakuza.
Many Japanese people had told me where I could find their compound. I suppose it is pretty common knowledge amongst residents of Kobe. It only took me about five minutes doing Google searches to find the exact location last night. I realized that I had run very close to it on several occasions in the past.

Early this morning I ran to the area it is located and walked down the street it is on, snapped a few pictures and made a quick video.

It was exhilarating walking down that side street in a quiet area of Kobe. I probably won’t go there again, but it was cool to do once.

I then continued with my run.

Didn't want to hang around long, but was able to make a silly face in front of the HQ's entrance!

The compound is surrounded by a high wall and thick trees. There are also cameras all over the place!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sunrises in Japan

I suppose some of the best things about being a runner in a cool city like Kobe, Japan are the views I get to see. These days, I normally run in the evenings, but yesterday I woke up early. I woke up really early. 

What did I decide to do?

Go for a run and watch the sun rise over the city. 

A good choice I think.